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The Book of Dads: Essays on the Joys, Perils, and Humiliations of Fatherhood

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews


"A generation of men reinvents fatherhood and discovers that beyond the anxiety, beyond the slip-ups and pratfalls, beyond the woeful self-revelations, beyond the burdens, beyond the diaper-changing and PTA meetings and tuition bills, beyond the unexpected intensity of the thing,

Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 2009)
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Tom Quinn
Dec 31, 2016 Tom Quinn rated it liked it
Like most essay collections, this one is kind of uneven. There are some great reads (especially the funny ones) and some duds (especially the heavy-handed ones) and the writers tend to lean towards the liberal side of the scale (I do too, but was this collection really the venue to voice your political views?). But I'm about to be a first-time dad, and reading this was time well-spent. It helped me gather my thoughts and mull over what type of dad I hope to be.
Sep 21, 2009 John rated it really liked it
I have a 3-month-old girl (my first), so I’ve been reading a lot of books on fatherhood lately. On the one hand I have learned a lot from them and I’ve never gotten so many approving looks from women on the subway, but on the other, they’re mostly pretty badly written. Actually, maybe “badly” is the wrong word – they’re just not written with entertaining me in mind. I have to say, I generally look forward to reading my baby’s books to her more.

Enter The Book of Dads. Over this summer I’ve used t
matthew r. dobson
Jul 19, 2014 matthew r. dobson rated it liked it
This was a mixed bag. A couple of the pieces were great, a couple were terrible, and most had nice sentiment but not greatly compelling or relatable.

I think my biggest disconnect with this collection was the homogenous group of writers and stories. This isn't so much a collection of essays from dads as it is a collection of essays from writers who are dads…I guess that's the trick…writers write, but, I'd love some stories I could more closely relate to - stories from men with full time jobs, men
May 20, 2009 Liz rated it it was amazing
Don't take it from me, take it from these writers. A great Father's Day gift under $20.

“Want to sit around with some really sharp, articulate men and find out what scares the hell out of them and breaks their hearts and makes their existence worthwhile? Read this book.”
— Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place

“Finally a book for us. Being a father is harrowing, life affirming, traumatic, astonishing, and hysterically funny—the totality of which is captured in the
I'm not sure if I should rate books that I didn't finish reading...but that said, I only sort of liked some of the essays in this book. When it was due back to the library I didn't like it well enough to finish reading it and accumulate the fines. (Unlike the $12.00 fine I have on "Fast Food Nation" because I couldn't bring myself to return it until I'd finished it! It might be cheaper to buy it at this point.) Maybe there would have been some essays towards the end of the book that I'd have lik ...more
Aug 01, 2009 April rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic anthology. Steve read it to me, and the stories really spoke to him. I checked it out of the library for him for Father's Day. The dads in there were very accessible and down to earth. Some dads were sentimental, some clearly immature, and at least half of the stories were down right funny, but the stories were warm and honest. Only a few were extra sad. I think we both felt better for having read these stories. I liked too that this anthology touched on all sorts of parenti ...more
Jun 12, 2009 Nicole added it
Recommends it for: new dads...and old dads...and sons of dads
Shelves: hbs-events
A strange but entertaining event.

Ben George was more awkward that I would have expected from a man who had to work with all these authors and organize a whole book. Steve Almond was as sarcastic and slightly inappropriate as ever. And Jenny Boylan was delightful onstage (though a bit shifty one-on-one). Props to George for including her on a book of Dads.f

Favorite quote: "I'm a big fan of thumbs. I can't get enough thumbs" Ben George's flirty pilot brother.

Favorite visual: watching short, baldin
Jul 31, 2014 Ryo rated it liked it
Some I felt close to my heart as if it was about my father and me. They were genuine and honest.
Many of the stories sounded too sentimental or a little over the top or trying to be funny - didn't work for me. It was better than I expected even after reading other reviews. Now I have definitely a softer spot for my father after knowing all these clumsy fathers' affection toward their kids.
Aug 30, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
The author complied this book as a response to his wife reading "Operating Instructions" by Annie Lamott. Some of the essays are great, others only so-so. A nice try, but not quite up to the level I think he was trying to get to.
Jul 28, 2009 Dan rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this collection, though I have to admit to liking some of the essays way more than others. Probably should be required reading for all new fathers to help them get through the tough times as well as cherish the good times more.
Nov 06, 2009 TJ rated it liked it
This one was hit or miss, some of the essays were really good, and others were very cliche. But overall pretty solid. The book covers fatherhood from a variety of ages, so it's one I might return to in a few years to review the essays about older kids.
Jan 23, 2015 Eduardo rated it really liked it
Some essays are funny, some thought provoking; some are neither here nor there. Some are touching. I liked this book.
Jan 25, 2010 Aubrey rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting, library, essays
I've read a ton of books about mothering, but never a book from a father's perspective. I enjoyed this book of essays about fatherhood and felt I could connect to most of the authors.
Aaron Ryba
Sep 16, 2009 Aaron Ryba is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Some great, hilarious essays. Short stories are always a good format for those who have a short attention span, especially those of us who are fathers.
Oct 01, 2013 Sean rated it really liked it
Some really wonderful essays on what it means to be a Dad--or a son. Moving between heartwarming, poignant or just outright hilarious. Great stuff.
Steven rated it liked it
Oct 26, 2009
Joe Wilkins
Joe Wilkins rated it it was amazing
Feb 02, 2013
Lucy rated it liked it
Mar 31, 2014
Data rated it it was ok
Aug 20, 2015
Ryan Tobin
Ryan Tobin rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2016
Jen rated it liked it
Nov 12, 2009
Jul 13, 2010 Miranda rated it really liked it
Really sweet and insightful (as I'm not ever going to be a dad or anything). Made me call my dad.
Andrea rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2012
Jon rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2010
Stanley Dankoski
Stanley Dankoski rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2010
Jul 25, 2009 Tomherndon rated it really liked it
Every dad's dive into fatherhood is unique. Some are uniquer than others.
Nathan rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2014
Michael Mclaurin
Michael Mclaurin rated it liked it
Oct 11, 2010
Ayelet Waldman
Mar 02, 2013 Ayelet Waldman rated it liked it
Some of these essays were terrific.
Maria rated it really liked it
Sep 14, 2011
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